M-1 Global just set up a champion vs. champion superfight between their heavyweight titleholder Marcin Tybura and 205-pound champion Stephan Puetz. The bout will be contested at heavyweight and neither of the belts will be on the line.
According to Puetz's management, the fight is happening because two possible challengers for the light-heavyweight title are injured right now and M-1 was in need for a prestigious main event for their show in Orenburg. Puetz's manager Niels Schlaegel added: "This is the most prestigious fight they could have made. We are looking forward to it and are very confident. Stephan has balls of steel."
The 27-year old German "T-800" Puetz captured the M-1 title last year in March by beating Viktor Nemkov by decision, and has defended it on two occasions since.
"I love challenges and a fight against the reigning M-1 heavyweight champion is one challenge of a kind," Puetz told BloodyElbow.com. "My goal will be the same as always: I want a finish. That doesn't change ever."
Polish powerhouse Marcin Tybura might indeed be the toughest challenge that Puetz has faced so far in his career. Unbeaten in 12 fights, the reigning M-1 champion won the organization's heavyweight grand prix in 2013 with three first-round stoppages, and has beaten top M-1 heavyweights such as Konstantin Gluhov, Maro Perak, Denis Smoldarev and Damien Grabowski.
However, from a physical standpoint, this has the potential to be a fairly even match-up. Despite the higher weight class, Tybura doesn't have the height advantage over Puetz, who cuts way over 20 pounds to make the light-heavyweight limit and, at 6'6'', could easily fight at heavyweight, too.
"But this will definitely be a one-time only affair," he said. "I will stay at 205, I just couldn't resist this tempting offer."
M-1 Challenge 57 will take place May 2 in Orenburg, Russia and can be watched live via M-1 Global TV.